Varun is a good politician and will make his mark, says Maneka - Hindustan Times
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Varun is a good politician and will make his mark, says Maneka

May 08, 2024 06:44 AM IST

All the major roads have been built...we have done the needful in the power sector... transformers and wiring etc have been changed, says former minister

Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi, who is seeking a re-election from Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh on a BJP ticket, focuses only on local issues and refrains from making critical remarks against opponents in her campaign, unlike many others during the high-voltage electioneering. Fondly called “Maa” or mother by people in her constituency, the eight-time MP in an interview speaks about a host of topics, including her preparations for the May 25 polls in her constituency and her son Varun Gandhi, who has not been fielded by the BJP in these elections. Edited excerpts

Maneka Gandhi is seeking a re-election from Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat. (File Photo)
Maneka Gandhi is seeking a re-election from Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat. (File Photo)

How is your poll campaign going?

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Good. It’s probably been a month now. I work the entire day, starting at 7am and continuing till 8.30 or 9pm. I am addressing 20 to 25 meetings every day.

You focus on local issues in your campaign. What development works have you done in Sultanpur?

We have done a lot of work here. All the major roads have been built. We have done the needful in the power sector... transformers and wiring etc have been changed. Navodaya Vidyalaya, medical college, ITI (industrial training institute) and polytechnic have been set up. Two hospitals have also been built and another one has been upgraded.

If you calculate the cost of this work, it will come to 3,600-3,800 crore. We have also given nearly 1.30 lakh (130,000) houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Any promises you are making to the voters?

We are promising to give 1 lakh (100,000) more houses under the [PM Awas] scheme after the elections.

In your views, what are the major national issues in these elections?

I don’t know what the national issues are. Throughout my life, during elections, I talk about local issues, achievements and dreams. These are the things that matter to the people.

Do you think the BJP should have fielded Varun Gandhi?

I think Varun is a very good politician and I am sure he will make his mark no matter what happens.

Was he a possible BJP candidate from Rae Bareli?

No comments.

Will he be campaigning in Sultanpur?

Not yet.

Why not?

He is keen to campaign, but I have asked him to stay back for a while.

You don’t target the opposition in your rallies. Why?

We never talk about the opposition or their candidates. We tell them (people) what we are doing for them.

Any comments on today’s politics?

I don’t comment on politics.

You are also known as an animal rights activist. What have you done for them in your constituency?

We have built a beautiful veterinary hospital in Sultanpur, which is probably the best in Uttar Pradesh.

People often say they want to see as part of the Union cabinet again. Your comment

I don’t think anybody cares whether I become a minister or not. That is not part of my agenda. My agenda is to get elected..

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